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London Forum Updates

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First of the Mayor's new London Living Rent homes

Posted on: 7 May 2017 at 14:41:03
Details are here from City Hall about a new type of affordable home.
The new London Living Rent will help middle-income earners save for a deposit by offering below-market rents, based on one-third of local median gross household income. They can be up to 30 per cent cheaper than local market rents.

London Forum's response to the Housing White Paper

Posted on: 6 May 2017 at 12:59:36
The response is here.

Open event on the problems of many advertising panels

Posted on: 3 May 2017 at 20:31:00
How much advertising do you need/want on your high street and local main roads?
London Forum is holding an event at 6.30pm on Wednesday 10 May at The Gallery, 75 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6EL (nearest underground: Farringdon).  Details are here.

CLG Committee makes recommendations for house building

Posted on: 29 April 2017 at 12:18:09
The Government should support small and medium builders and ensure local authorities have the tools they need to make an effective contribution to solving the housing crisis, the Committee adds.
The committee of MPs investigated the reasons for too few new homes being built.  They say the Government should help to End dominance of big homebuilding firms to fix broken market
The report notes that the eight largest firms build more than half of all new homes and calls for a more competitive market, with a large number of companies of different sizes. The Committee recommends improving access to land and finance for smaller builders and says Government should reduce the risk for builders by preparing sites for development by providing infrastructure and planning permissions.

Gov't response to Lords EU Energy and Environment Comm

Posted on: 27 April 2017 at 13:32:50
The House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee produced a report, ‘Brexit: Environment and Climate Change’ which can be seen here.
The Government's response has been published.

Tax Payers Alliance details of 'town hall' salaries

Posted on: 26 April 2017 at 20:11:16
According to their published report, the local authority in London with the most employees who received remuneration in excess of £100,000 in 2015-16 was Southwark with 44 (an increase of 26 in one year). Wandsworth and Haringey had 31 each; Islington, Brent, Westminster, Camden, City of London, Hillingdon and Tower Hamlets had around 20.  There were 450 borough staff members in London earning over £100,000. The biggest remuneration package of £387,000 was received by Kingston upon Thames’ Chief Executive, Bruce McDonald. In Lambeth Craig Tunstall earned £374,147 for running Kingswood and Elmwood primary schools and children's services.
The number of people earning over £150,000 in boroughs last year were Barking & Dagenham two; Barnet six; Bexley three; Brent eight; Bromley six; Camden five; City of London one; Croydon six; Ealing four; Greenwich six; Haringey nine; Harrow six; Havering two; Hillingdon nine; Hounslow five; RBK&C one; Lambeth seven; Lewisham four; Newham seven; Richmond three; Southwark three; Tower Hamlets three; Wandsworth nineteen; Westminster eight.
Some of them may run several departments, manage a lot of staff or have a large budget.

Newsforum Spring 2017

Posted on: 29 March 2017 at 13:01:36
The edition of Newsforum number 75 for Spring 2017 has been published by London Forum and is available on its web site here.

Stronger charities for a stronger society

Posted on: 26 March 2017 at 11:47:01
The House of Lords Select Committee on Charities has published its report on this subject.  Some of it is more applicable to voluntary groups providing services than to civic and amenity societies but its content should be read and considered by all community groups.
It is important that London Forum's members review their objectives, corporate governance, constitution, SWOT analysis, activities, public benefits of their work and succession planning.  Those needs were reviewed and discussed in an open meeting for members in 2016.
More information and guidance is on the Charity Commission's web site.

Chancellor agrees some devolution for London

Posted on: 8 March 2017 at 15:34:40
Planning reports that in his Budget statement to Parliament, chancellor Philip Hammond told MPs that he had "reached a deal with the mayor of London on further devolution".
The Budget document said that a memorandum of understanding with the Greater London Authority (GLA) and umbrella body London Councils "includes joint working to explore the benefits of, and scope for, locally-delivered criminal justice services; action to tackle congestion; and a taskforce to explore piloting a new approach to funding infrastructure".
The memorandum of understanding, published alongside the Budget document, said that the government has agreed to establish a joint taskforce bringing together the GLA, mayoral agency Transport for London, London Councils, the Department for Transport and the Department for Communities and Local Government "to explore the options for piloting a Development Rights Auction Model (DRAM) on a major infrastructure project in London".
The memorandum adds: "Should a pilot of DRAM be agreed, it will be jointly evaluated by London and the government to review its effectiveness and determine whether a similar model could be applied to other infrastructure projects."
According to a TfL report, dated February 2017, the DRAM mechanism would involve the introduction of a "periodic development rights auction, in which development rights over land put forward (voluntarily) by landowners are auctioned in assembled packages to a competitive field of developers".
The report adds: "Gains above a reserve price are shared between the participating landowners and the planning/auctioning authority. No development taxes (such as CILs or s106 payments) are payable under this scheme."
A statement from the mayor’s office said that the new funding model would "provide significant funding towards future projects – allowing them to be built quicker and with less reliance on Government funding".
More than five years ago, the previous coalition government proposed piloting a system of land auctions on public sector land, but the idea never got off the ground

Historic England's update on planning changes

Posted on: 25 February 2017 at 17:26:45
A very useful Planning Bulletin has been issued by Historic England which summarises various pieces of Government policy and gives links to proposals and consultations. It can be seen here.

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